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Approximate counting and quantum computation. (English) Zbl 1089.68040
Summary: Motivated by the result that an ‘approximate’ evaluation of the Jones polynomial of a braid at a 5th root of unity can be used to simulate the quantum part of any algorithm in the quantum complexity class BQP, and results relating BQP to the counting class GapP, we introduce a form of additive approximation which can be used to simulate a function in BQP. We show that all functions in the classes \(\#\)P and GapP have such an approximation scheme under certain natural normalizations. However, we are unable to determine whether the particular functions we are motivated by, such as the above evaluation of the Jones polynomial, can be approximated in this way. We close with some open problems motivated by this work.

68Q10 Modes of computation (nondeterministic, parallel, interactive, probabilistic, etc.)
68Q15 Complexity classes (hierarchies, relations among complexity classes, etc.)
81P68 Quantum computation
81T45 Topological field theories in quantum mechanics
57R56 Topological quantum field theories (aspects of differential topology)
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